Chalet Chic

portetta-lodges

There’s nothing like heading back to a cosy chalet after a day on the slopes to relax and enjoy a little apres-ski.  More and more skiers are pushing their budgets to enjoy luxurious five star chalet retreats with interiors that can outshine even the most expensive of hotels. And it’s inspiring a wave of homeowners, eager to recreate that luxe ‘log cabin’ environment in homes, especially as we head into winter.

portetta-interiors

With some of the finest lodges in Europe, including Portetta, Courcheval (pictured above), amongst our clients, we’re enamoured with the ‘chalet chic’ style at The Fine Cotton Company. So we’ve put together our guide on how to achieve a cosy, multi-sensory room in your own home.

Use nature as your muse

Nature’s forms run through the DNA of a chalet chic interior. It’s a look ideally suited to cottages or barn conversions where exposed beams and stone floors make up the internal structure of the room, but can equally be achieved with accessories and simple touches that fully immerse homeowners in the high-end ski lodge experience.

Stack logs in a fireplace or a knitted log basket and pile up tactile fabrics like faux fur to introduce tonal variety and texture to the room.

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Checked Throws                                  Faux Fur Throws

A palette of soft, neutral colours that take their inspiration straight from the slopes are pleasing to the eye and will create a cosy atmosphere.  Colour selections should have a warm undertone; team brown, cream and caramel with a warm blue such as the Dulux colour of the year, Denim Drift.

The stag has been a perennial mainstay in interiors for many years and it’s certainly the animal of choice within this scheme. Consider more unusual ways of introducing the deer motif with playful book ends, wall-mounted antlers or antler chandelier, or a hot water bottle to further add to that cosy feel.

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Stag Hot Water Bottle                          Book ends

Don’t neglect the sense of smell

Tease the senses with delicious winter scents of wood, smoke and pine forest. There are lots of diffusers and candles on the market, but for a more authentic, festive fragrance try adding alternative kindling such as cherry wood or cedar to a wood-burning stove.

Get the lighting and the heating right

Guests should feel warm and welcome immediately as they enter the chalet inspired living space. If a log burner or open fire is still on the wish list rather than a reality, candles will help to achieve the look. Banish the ‘big light’ and opt for atmospheric fairy lights, lamps and drop pendants. And don’t skimp on the heating – shivering in the cold is not an option.

Add a touch of alpine glamour

Chalet chic should never be dull. Elevate a scheme from ordinary to fabulous with the addition of a little unanticipated alpine glamour. Achieve that luxe feel with metallic scatter cushions nestled  amongst fur, add crystal touches or to make a real statement, an elaborate chandelier juxtaposed against natural forms and textures will make for a dazzling focal point and add atmosphere by reflecting light around the room.

Tongue-in-cheek ski chic

This look doesn’t need to take itself too seriously, in fact, adding some funky accessories will add to the endorphin-inducing experience.  Have some fun with a kitsch fondue set or traditional board games, casually strew some ski magazines across the coffee table or take the plunge into chalet lifestyle with a hot tub in the garden.

Time to Hibernate

Five of the Best Natural Materials to Bed Down in this Winter

Happy family concept. Feet of father, mother and four children in colorful knitted socks on white bed. Family sleeping together.

Winter should be filled with long blissful walks on a crisp day, followed by a  roast dinner and cuddling up beside a roaring log fire.  When it’s cold outside there’s no better time to create a snug and comforting sleep sanctuary inside; somewhere to hide away from the winter chill.  And we always choose natural and organic materials to stay cosy. They’re far superior to synthetics in terms of how they affect the body during sleep.  Natural fibres and fillings such as cotton, goose down, silk and flannelette will actually help to regulate your body temperature as you sleep, keeping you warm in winter and cool in the summer.  They’re also breathable and allow ventilation that draws moisture away, which makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Here’s our pick of the top five:

Flannelette

A chic and snug option for winter bedding, flannelette is currently enjoying a revival in UK homes.  Loosely spun fibres produce a fluffier texture to the fabric so it’s velvety soft to sleep on. This also has an insulating effect, traps warm air and provides extra heat for those who feel the cold. Where flannelette may appear thicker, it’s actually very light weight, plus it can be washed frequently with a reduced risk of shrinkage, so it’s ideal for children’s rooms. Like this sounds of this super soft natural fabric? Try our Stowe Brushed Organic Cotton Bed Linen

Silk

It’s advisable to opt for a higher tog duvet when temperatures tumble; a 10.5 or 13.5 tog rating will provide the extra warmth needed in the cold weather.  And it is possible to up the tog rating without feeling weighed down with a natural silk floss filling that continually adjusts to your body and the ambient temperature of the room. Silk filled duvets drape lightly over the body and are luxurious, light and thin. Try our Silk Winter Duvet.

Alpaca Wool

Alpaca fibres are naturally anti-allergic and can be used to kerb the effects of common allergies such as asthma which can worsen in winter due to the prevalence of colds and flu.  Made from hollow fibres, Alpaca wool has the same temperature regulating quality as many natural fibres.

Our Anti-Allergy Organic Alpaca Duvet Collection is handmade using unique stitching techniques for maximum airflow, this organic duvet is completely free from chemicals for a healthy, natural sleep environment.

Angora

The fluffy surface texture of Angora wool produces unrivalled luxury and softness.  It’s revered by knitters who refer to this extra fluffiness as the halo. The Angora fibre has a hollow core so it’s cosier and lighter than lambswool.

Try our Lambswool and Angora Throws – Blended with lambswool this lustrous textured Monaco throw is available in a vivid punchy pink along, soft blues, greys and cream.

Or the reversible Newbury Lambswool and Angora range gives even more options for changing up interiors.

 Goose Down

Natural down can be very lightweight.  A luxurious goose down duvet is an investment for those who love sleep without the feeling of too much weight on them – large clusters of down trap air and cover the body evenly and lightly.

Try our Supreme Hungarian Goose Down Duvet for the ultimate in sleep luxury.

 

Image Adobe Stock © Vitalinka

 

Winter Warmers

Snuggle down for winter with our cosy throws and hot water bottles

We love winter here at The Fine Cotton Company. It gives us an excuse to delve into our collection of gorgeous soft throws and pick a new hot water bottle to help us beat the chill when temperatures drop.  We’ve got some lovely new arrivals this year that will help make your home cosy and inviting.  Here are some of the highlights.

Our new range of luxuriously soft knitted hot water bottle covers (and hot water bottle) keep you toasty warm – and super stylish – throughout the winter months.  There’s an array of colours and designs, ranging from bright multi-coloured stripes to delicate greys and neutrals, along with some adorable animal motifs. Cuddle up with a hare, fox, stag, owl, Scottie dog, whale, panda or penguin. We’ve even got a flamingo for those with more exotic tastes.  Browse the range here.

hot-water-bottle-collage

Responsibly sourced and sumptuously soft, our collection of cashmere and lambswool throws are the ultimate luxury home accessory. So it’s no wonder they’re a best seller, particularly when homeowner’s are creating cosy homes for Autumn/Winter 2016.  Who wouldn’t want to wrap themselves in one of these beautiful soft blankets?

throw-collage

 

Take a look through our range of throws and blankets.

Baby Shower Gifts for Bridget

Group Of Female Friends Meeting For Baby Shower At Home

Have you heard? Bridget Jones is about to have a baby!

In the third instalment of the hit franchise, our favourite scatter-brained heroine finds herself with child and unsure of who the father is.  After receiving warm reviews from critics we’re sure Bridget Jones’s Baby will be a huge hit when it’s released in the UK next week (Friday 16th September).

So in anticipation, we’ve selected our best organic and ethically sourced baby shower gifts for mums-to-be and their little ones.  Read on to find the perfect baby shower goodies for the expectant mum in your life.

Canvas Storage Hampers 

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We’re sure every new mum would thank you for somewhere to store the hundreds of toys that children accumulate. This lovely storage hamper is available in a fun owl design and can be personalised with a name, date or initials.

Personalised Monogrammed Owl Baby Towel Collection 

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With a lusciously deep soft pile, this gorgeous organic cotton towel is perfect for wrapping up baby after a bath. Towels come in two sizes and can be embroidered in a choice of styles and 12 thread colours.

Madison and Nevada Cotton Knitted Baby Shawls 

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These irresistibly soft pure cotton knitted baby shawls are naturally breathable and come in a delicate stripe or chevron design.  They are beautifully finished with a double ribbed border.

Flat Sheepskin Cuddle Bears 

sheepskin-cuddle-bears

The latest must-have toy for babies to snuggle – a stroke-able, soft flat cuddle bear. These sheepskin cuddle bears are a warm, tactile and huggable comforter that little ones just can’t resist.

Personalised Brighton Blanket Collection 

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A must-have for mums-to-be who love a touch of luxury and classic, traditional style. Made using brushed 100% organic cotton it is wonderfully soft and finished with a smart blanket stitch edge detail.  With personalised options available these blankets make fantastic gifts for new babies.

Image source: Adobe Stock, Monkey Business

Three simple ways to create a ‘spa’ experience at home

Need to relax and unwind without the expense of a spa day?  Try our three simple steps to transform your bathroom into a haven of tranquillity.

1) Back to basics

Feng Shui experts have long championed the benefits that a minimalist home can have on the mind, so strip your bathroom back to a bare minimum for a serene refuge in which to escape the stresses and strains of daily life.  Décor should be neutral, clean, clear and natural. Get rid of fussy details and opt for a few well-placed ornaments, such as a water feature – often found in spas.

2) Attention to detail

Creating a luxurious spa feeling at home is all about attention to little details and it needn’t cost the earth.

With just a few carefully selected, authentic items you can turn your bathroom into a relaxing haven worthy of the most exclusive retreats.Little touches like a few well-placed spa products, fresh flowers, plants or aromatherapy fragrant candles and diffusers will all create the multi-sensory ambience associated with an expensive day spa. Take it one step further by filling some clear glass jugs with fruit and herb infused water.
3) Invest in comfort

Any spa experience begins with a robe, but a top tip for recreating an authentic experience is that the robe needs to be generously sized and superb quality so that it can be washed time and time again – like our ‘Palermo’ lined waffle robe, which is made from the most sumptuous natural and organic materials. The waffle exterior is lined with thick, fluffy towelling on the inside and a shawl collar and deep turn back cuffs create the snuggly and decadent feeling you only get in a health spa.

como towels small
Like with robes, when it comes to towels, bigger is better for an indulgent feel. Invest in a collection of thick and super absorbent white towels that will feel as good as new wash after wash.Image credits: www.healthlandspa.com, Houzz.com, Pinterest

Five Steps To Five Star Hotel Luxury At Home

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if your bedroom was like a hotel room? Our resident bedding expert, Jane Robson, offers five ‘home hacks’ to recreate five star hotel luxury in the home.

  1. Count on Cotton

“High thread count cotton is a must for achieving that ‘luxe’ feel at home,” says Jane.  “A good standard thread count is around 200 and anything higher than that will feel wonderfully soft and luxurious.  Percale weave sheeting is the finest available. The high thread count fabric is soft and silk-like to touch – delightfully reminiscent of those five star hotel stays. 

“Unlike certain products in the home, where cheap substitutions can go unnoticed, investing in high quality cotton bed linen will really make a difference to your home.  Quality cotton sheets will feel a lot smoother and softer than cheaper imitations; they will last for years and because the fabric is made from natural fibres it will keep cool in summer and warm in winter.”

Biarritz Bed Linen

Try our Biarritz 320TC Cotton Percale Bed Linen Collection for a sophisticated choice.

  1. Whiter than White … but throw in some texture and colour

There’s something about white bed linen that just denotes sound sleep, comfort and luxury.  If you want to inject some colour or interest then acessorise with cushions, throws and blankets in sumptuous high quality materials, or choose a bedding set that has a subtle coloured trim.”

Genoa Collage

Our Genoa 320 TC Egyptian Cotton Percale Duvet Cover Collection will achieve this look in the home or accessorise with patterned wool and cashmere throws.

Throws collage

  1. Pile on the Pillows

“Who cares if you only sleep with one pillow – to create a plush haven of comfort you need an abundance of pillows! I’d opt for a minimum of four standard pillows and two scatter cushions but in this case – more is more. It’s all about layering up to create a lavish feeling of extravagance.”

Fine Cotton Co LILLE hr

Browse our gorgeous collection of pillows and pillow covers.

  1. Flat Sheets for Five Star

While fitted sheets have their benefits, flat sheets are a mainstay in hotel bed-making and ‘hospital corners’ are an absolute must. Flat sheets are also much easier to press meaning you can achieve that crisp, white look that hotels are renowned for.  For an extra layer of luxury try triple sheeting – where an extra sheet is laid on top of the blanket or duvet – it gives that hotel feel and also adds another layer of protection for your duvet.”

Browse our flat sheets here

  1. Clean and Crisp

“There’s no better feeling than getting into a freshly laundered bed.  Good quality materials won’t fade or wear with washing so they can be laundered weekly at high temperatures to keep them looking their best.

“All of our bedding is washable at 60 degrees – the temperature that kills dust mites.  It’s also a good idea to have spare set of bedding to rotate and ease the weekly washing process.”

 

Thanks to Laura at Little Stuff

Thank you to the lovely Laura at Little Stuff for the great review about our Bright Stars Bed Linen

Here is a copy of her comments…

Bright Stars Square 1000-02

Finding bedding for teenagers can be really tricky, I find. They’re WELL past the stage of wanting their favourite comic book hero or tv character sleeping next to them each night, and yet they’re usually not ready (especially the boys) for the adult offerings of floral patterns or plain old block colours that seem to be the only alternative.

So I let out a Whoop Of Happy when I was looking at the Fine Cotton Company’s site and teen boy crossed behind me, pausing to exclaim spontaneously “Oh, I love that stars duvet cover, that’s really cool!”

Hurrah hurray hurroo.

And out of the website and onto his bed, how does it stand up?

It’s flipping gorgeous.

teen-bedding-stars-cotton
I clearly didn’t read the description clearly, because I was surprised to see the star pattern is actually embroidered on and not printed. Such a nice touch that really lifts the set.

The biggest test of all, of course, is how it feels. The boy is VERY fussy, and chooses to sleep under an old and faded spiderman duvet cover rather than a newer, more suitable cover that isn’t 100% cotton and therefore doesn’t feel as nice on his skin.

The Bright Stars set? Passes with flying colours. My only issue now is that he won’t sleep under anything else, so I have to wash it and dry it in a day!

organic-cotton-teen-bedding

The set washes beautifully, and being 100% organic cotton it dries fast too. It does need an iron, but I’m sorry to say the boy prefers his bedding ‘softly rumpled’ and not crisply flat, so no iron was used in the making of this bed.

The Bright Stars organic 200tc bedding can be bought direct from the Fine Cotton Company. It’s available in double, single and cotbed sizes, and the single duvet cover is £45.

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